The determination could be seen in Ehren Wassermann's penetrating eyes early this season. He was intent on reaching the major leagues.
The Charlotte Knights' side-arming right-hander accomplished his goal this past week when his contract was purchased by the parent Chicago White Sox.
Wassermann's arrival in the big leagues, no matter how short or long, has been a journey of perseverance and hope as he battled difficult odds.
Wassermann was undrafted out of Samford in 2003, but attended tryouts camps with Philadelphia, San Diego, Atlanta and the White Sox. He signed with the White Sox after a tryout in Hoover, Ala.
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That began his ascent, stopping at each level before reaching Triple-A with the Knights this year.
"You definitely have an appreciation for each level, working your way up," Wassermann said earlier this season. "I had a pitching coach when I was in low A and he told me, 'You're going to have to prove yourself at each level.' And that's pretty much what I've had to do."
Wassermann, who was named to the Triple-A All-Star team earlier this month, was 2-4 with a 2.11 ERA and five saves in 38 appearances with the Knights.
• SLOWEY IMPRESSIVE: Former Winthrop right-hander Kevin Slowey is making a strong bid for a recall to the parent Minnesota Twins.
Slowey, sent down to Triple-A Rochester a month ago, ran his Red Wings record to 8-2 as he pitched a three-hit shutout against Syracuse this week.
Slowey struck out eight and walked one as he collected his first shutout since Aug. 6, 2005.
The 23-year-old Slowey was 3-0 with a 5.84 ERA in seven starts with the Twins before returning to Rochester.
• WINTHROP FLAVOR: The South Atlantic League has its share of former players from Winthrop coach Joe Hudak's program.
The latest to join the SAL is ex-Eagles catcher Alan Robbins, who was promoted to Lakewood (N.J.) from Williamsport of the short-season New York-Penn League. Robbins batted .375 in eight plate appearances before his promotion.
Other ex-Eagles in the SAL are pitcher Heath Rollins (Columbus, Ga.), pitcher Chris Leroux (Greensboro), and infielder Matt Repec (Asheville).
• ON DECK: The Knights continue their 12-day road trip with stops in four different cities when they visit Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at 5 p.m. today. The Knights and Yankees meet again Monday before the Knights move on to Buffalo, Indianapolis and Louisville.
The Knights return home Aug. 1 against Durham to begin a busy month which features 18 home dates.
• EXTRA BASES: Former Clemson LHP Daniel Moskos, the No. 4 pick by Pittsburgh in the draft, has signed a contract with the Pirates. ... San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds turns 43 Tuesday. ... Oregon will reinstate baseball to its athletic program for 2008-09. State rival Oregon State is the two-time defending NCAA champion. ... Former Charlotte IF Mike Bell is in his first year as a minor league manager with Yakima, an Arizona affiliate in the short-season Northwest League.